Once again, Quinn wasn't there. We feel that participating in the Scouts--particularly as their National Board has behaved over the last decade--would betray both people and values that we hold dear.
While the national BSA formally maintains its hard-line stance forbidding "avowed homosexuals" from being members or leaders, I'd heard that some packs, troops, and councils were practicing their own version of "DADT." Sadly, here in Western Loudoun, that doesn't seem to be the case. According to a leader in the local pack: "Pack 961 adheres to all National BSA policies." Message received.
As an Eagle Scout and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, it is my personal opinion that the National BSA's policies and practices are in direct conflict with the principles that should underpin any decision in scouting--the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Once they announced they were homophobic, I decided that wasn't the kind of organization I wanted to be associated with. So no, I'm not counting myself amongst their ranks anymore.
Funny thing-- when I was teaching rock climbing a few years ago, not even the elders knew how to tie so much as a figure-eight knot. So besides their homophobia, if they're letting their standards slip like that, you bet I don't want to be associated with them.
This is why we joined Camp Fire USA - a scouting organization that was once the sister org to the BSA when both were founded here in the U.S. (The Girl Scouts are not actually in any way connected to BSA)
Camp Fire discontinued that association when the two orgs began moving in very different inclusiveness directions in the early 70's.
We are welcoming and inclusive. Regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or other aspect of diversity, any child, youth or adult may join Camp Fire.
It's really very disappointing - all the Boy Scouts I grew up with were in troops where sexual orientation and religion were just not on the table. It had nothing to do with the goals of the troops. I spent a lot of time working on my friends' Eagle Scout projects with them and I'm disappointed to see their board devaluing those efforts and values.
I even told my Scoutmaster that I had some reservations about the oath, because I wasn't sure their was a God--so swearing to do my duty to God seemed to either be a nonsense statement or a contradiction. His reaction was, "plenty of time to worry about that over the next few years--go get with your patrol, you guys have a campout to plan."
By the time I was getting set for my Eagle Board of Review in 1988, the "purity police" were starting to take root in the organization. I had to get an minister to attest to my spiritual character. [Yay for Roger of St. George's camp at Shrinemont!]